An Unfinished Life

Version: Abridged
Author: Robert Dallek
Narrator: Richard McGonagle
Genres: Biography & Memoir, Non-Fiction
Publisher: Time Warner Audio Books
Published In: June 2003
# of Units: 8 CDs
Length: 8 hours
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An Unfinished Life is the first major, single-volume life of John F. Kennedy to be written by a historian in nearly four decades. Drawing upon previously unavailable material and never-before-opened archives to tell Kennedy's story, An Unfinished Life is packed with revelations large and small. We learn for the first time just how sick Kennedy was, what medications he took and concealed from all but a few, and how severely his medical condition affected his actions as President. We learn for the first time the real story of how Bobby was selected as Attorney General. Dallek reveals exactly what Jack's father did to help his election to the presidency, and he follows previously unknown evidence to show what path JFK would have taken in the Vietnam entanglement had he survived.

Dallek lifts JFK out of the gossips and back onto the world stage, showing that while he was the son of privilege, he faced great obstacles and fought on with remarkable courage. Never shying away from Kennedy's weaknesses, Dallek also brilliantly explores his strengths. The result is a portrait of a bold, brave, human Kennedy, once again a hero.The figures who surrounded Kennedy and shaped his life-Joe, Jackie, McNamara, Marilyn, Bobby, LBJ, MLK, Schlesinger, Sorenson and others-are presented here with a richness and accuracy never before seen. From elementary school, to Harvard, to PT-109, to Washington, to the White House, to Dallas, here is the full epic story, finally, and fairly. An Unfinished Life will stand as the essential Kennedy book, a landmark work.

Reviews (5)

An Unfinished Lfe

Written by B. Evans on January 25th, 2008

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Obviously, if you are reading these reviews, there is considerable confusion as to which book titled "An Unfinished Life" is being reviewed. I read the novel by Mark Spragg, and it was outstanding. I had seen the movie first, and athough it was good, the book is better (when is a book not better?) This is the first review I have written, although I have listened to 30+ titles. This is one of the best I have heard. I highly recommend it.

An Unfinished Life

Written by Anonymous on June 22nd, 2007

  • Book Rating: 4/5

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and wish that I had listened to the unabridged version. As someone who was in late grade school/early high school during the rendered events, it enabled me to understand the cause and effect of happenings that were just meaningless names to be memorized in Government class. I recommend this selection highly to anyone who would like to understand why the 60's will always be seen as a time of high idealism and a crucial turning point in our history.

I couldn't even force myself to open the 2nd pakcet of cd's

Written by Anonymous from Chester, NY on October 16th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 2/5

I think I must have let my que empty. I can't imagine otherwise how I would have been listening to this dry recount of a story I know all too well- the beginning, middle and ending. Told from a much too one sided slant of the Kennedy family view of life, it leaves no room for a sliver of information regarding Jackie and how President Kennedy himself viewed their relationship. My Irish Catholic Grandmother had cut President Kennedy's picture out of the Sunday Magazine in the newspaper. It remained framed in her living room until she had passed on. My siblings and I seriously pondered whether we should slip the faded photo from a 1960's Sunday Magazine into her casket among the other family photos we'd slipped into the folds of satin. In the end we decided against including the clipping, being of two generations later and having a more broadened view of President Kennedy's life.

Don't watch the movie til you read this book!

Written by Diana Nunn on April 24th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Please, read the book first. I read Mark's other book, and I liked both. Great writer and keeps you on the edge of your seat. Many driveway moments!

good solid biography

Written by Anonymous on January 3rd, 2006

  • Book Rating: 4/5

A well written biography; the author gives interesting and not well known (at least to me) insight into the health issues of the president and how/whether those health problems may have impacted the presidency. Thoughtful analysis of Kennedy's global policies, and an even-handed, non-sensational accounting of Kennedy's more 'human' side. All told, an interesting listen.

Author Details

Author Details

Dallek, Robert

Robert Dallek is the author of the number one bestseller "An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963", among other books. His writing has appeared in "The Atlantic Monthly", "The New York Times", and "The Washington Post". He is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the Society of American Historians, for which he served as president in 2004-2005. He lives in Washington, D.C.

Spragg, Mark

MARK SPRAGG was born and raised on the Wyoming dude ranch his family had run since 1898. His memoir, "Where Rivers Change Direction, " chronicling the history of this ranch, won the Mountains and Plains Booksellers Award, and was a Book Sense Top 10 Pick as well as hitting bestseller lists throughout the West. His previous novel, "The Fruit of Stone, " is also available on audio from HighBridge. He now lives in Cody, Wyoming.